Friday, September 09, 2005

Trip the Second: Rothenburg

So I lied (well, forgot). Before the trek to Paris, we made a day-trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is basically an intact medieval town. We strolled about, gawping at the half-timbered houses and window-shopping. After St. Jacob’s Church, we hit the Christmas store. Oh. My. God. I love xmas, but I was smothering in it by the time we fought our way out of there. I can only stand so much flocking and cinnamon incense before descending into madness.

So then we split up. The chicks went to the Doll and Toy Museum, where they had a rockin’ Barbie display, and the guys went to the Medieval Crime Museum. Make of that what you will. We ended the trip with a walk along the top of the defensive wall surrounding the old town. I had to hold D.D.’s hand at first, because she’s “afraid of heights” (it comes and goes). She was telling me all the things she’s afraid of: “heights, snakes with big teeth (she put her fingers to her mouth like fangs, a la Holy Grail), giant snakes that can squeeze you like a boa constructor [sic], ok—all snakes.” My mom doesn’t like snakes, either, so you’re in good company kid.

We stayed home on Monday to do some laundry, and when I popped out to pick up some groceries, D.D. and LMIL got busy tie-dying a couple of t-shirts and 2 pairs of socks (D.D.’s idea). We hid what was left of the dye, in case she got any other ideas. So now she has enough to wear that she’ll only have to pick a non-batik outfit once a week.

A Joke Composed by Darling Daughter

What do you call a Ballerina who fell down?

She piroueted [sic] out fine!


Get it?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Farewell to Summer

Summer is over, and what a busy summer it was. In the 6 weeks D.D. was out of school, we visited with 2 sets of relatives and made 6 trips encompassing 12 towns. We’ve been to the pool a handful of times, including the time of composition, and I am now sporting a wicked farmer tan consisting of a white stripe across my wrist from my watch and brown stripes across my feet from my Mary Janes. Eat your heart out!

We heard on the radio that September 1 was meteorologically the first day of fall. We’re getting a last gasp of “high summer” weather—sunny and warm—but I can tell that the light is already different. In Texas, the light is basically the same all year round. It lasts a little longer and is more intense in summer, but the sun rises and sets in the same part of the sky. In another couple of weeks here in Germany, the sun will be rising noticeably later and farther south. It’s not as extreme as in Sweden (thank the 7 dwarfs!), but it is still disconcerting to a Texas girl.

I just heard from a friend at the pool that there are thunder storms in the forecast, then it is supposed to get cooler. D.D. had already been predicting cool weather: school’s starting, therefore it must cool down. Rats. The plus side is that I didn’t have to buy much in the way of summer clothes for D.D. this year because she still fit most of them from last year, although the shorts were bordering on indecently short, even though they fit in the waist. Since she’s only been out of jeans for about a week, she still has something to wear to school next week. Soon we’ll be into the season of layering for crisp fall mornings and warm fall afternoons. Step Dad was the first to notice that some of the trees were already changing color. Oh well, I like fall, I just would have liked a little more summer this year. Sigh.

Today’s Guest Blogger: Darling Daughter

Well, I’m back from a boring Trip to PARIS. I think I would like to draw a Mustache [sic] and Beard on the Mona lisa (and devil horns!).

[Typed verbatim from her written notes. As you may have noticed, she has a very German way of looking at capitalization.]

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Heads up on comments change

Within an hour of my last post, I had 2 spam comments, and rather than let them get a toe-hold, I've set my comments so that you have to enter a word that appears on the screen (like when you start almost any online account these days) when you comment. I hope that doesn't put any of you off commenting, but I hope it keeps the comment section spam-free. Let me know if anyone has problems with it.


Trip the First

So, the last 3 weeks or so... For those just tuning in, my Lovely Mother-In-Law and her husband (Step Dad), were the first to break the time/money/distance-barrier and come to visit us here in Germany. We had them for 12 fun-filled, travel-packed days, so we (and they!) were exhausted by the time we put them on the plane a week ago Tuesday.

When they arrived, Darling Daughter must have thought xmas had come early, because in addition to the “supplies” we had requested (like grape jelly and mac-n-cheese) and some books we had ordered to be sent to them, they also brought some fantastic gifts for her (and some for us), like a new dress and even more books. Since their arrival on Aug. 18, D.D. has read 7 new books for a total of 1,040 pages. That doesn’t include the books she already had that she reread at bedtime during that period. We’ve got a reader on our hands! Anyhoo, the books helped keep her occupied during all our boring travelling.

Our first extended-family excursion was a cruise up the Rhine on the castle tour. Step Dad especially loved it; I don’t think he really knew what to expect from Germany, but it seems he was more than pleasantly surprised. D.D. retreated beneath her umbrella to ward off the sun while she read her book, not even emerging when the Spanish contingent of the World Youth Day goers began dancing and singing. We were treated to the sight of teens in low-rise jeans dancing flamenco and the macarena, ostensibly for God. Having grown up Southern Baptist, I was somewhat scandalized. Ok, I’m lying—our church was of the hypocritical variety, and I do not recall dancing ever being mentioned, much less condemned, there. Mostly we were annoyed because they were obviously not appreciating the castles like we were trying to. Fortunately, they got off before we did.

We visited the town of Braubach and its castle, the Marksburg. It was the in-laws' first castle! Then we took a regional train down to Rüdesheim, a short ferry ride away from our car. We probably could have skipped the Drosselgasse, but at least LMIL and S.D. were able to eat their first German fast food there—pork steak and onions on a roll, if I remember correctly. Much better then McFood!

It was late when we got home, then we spent the next day recouperating.

Next installment: Trip the Second (Paris)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Boo-Hoo for Me

I’m not getting much sympathy from L.H., so I’ll cry on the virtual shoulder of my online friends and family instead. After I got out of the shower this morning, I noticed a rash on the insides of my forearms. In the meanwhile, it has moved across my chest, torso, neck, face, and now feet. I haven’t dropped my pants to check my legs. L.H.’s unhelpful response when I showed him: heat rash. Could be, if it weren’t 75F in our shady house. Anyhow, this rash is just the latest in a string of minor illnesses over the last week-and-a-half.

First, I think I had a kidney infection. We got back from France with the extended family on Friday, and I developed back pain and pee-urgency on Saturday. (And I started my period. Insult to injury, eh?) Fortunately, my Lovely MIL is an RN, and she always travels with UTI meds after having developed one on vacation several years ago. So she hooked me up with some sulfa drugs. Mmmm... I still had intermittent back pain over the following week, but Alleve came to my rescue.

Then there was the pill-swallowing incident. Even at 32, I still gag on large pills. [I think LilSis does, too, so maybe it’s a family thing.] Anyhow,
Large Pill + Nee = Barf > 2 Days of Nausea.

Also, mucho travelling means mucho constipation, so I’ve been dealing with the end results of that (no pun intended), including diarrhea. I’m about ready to trade in this body for a more reliable one.

[Added the next day:] The morning we were leaving for southern Germany, I woke up with no back pain, but with a crick in my neck. I couldn't move my head to the right, so I missed all the scenery on that side of the car.

Needless to say, once must of the above had passed, Lovely Husband had a bout of vomiting while in southern Germany, and Darling Daughter had one in the car on the way home. I’m hoping we will all be well again by next week, because on Monday D.D. starts third grade and L.H. flies to Sweden for a week. That means I get to be a single parent again, if only for a week, but at least my classes haven’t started yet. Otherwise I’d probably need another vacation when L.H. got back.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Non-Blogging Raised to an Art Form

It has been much harder getting back into the swing of blogging than I would have thought. On the one hand, I haven’t done much more than jot down enigmatic notes (“duck”--?) for the last 3 weeks or so, so cobbling them together into a witty, coherent post is proving to be a challenge. On the other hand, so much has happened that it is overwhelming trying to 1) remember everything, and 2) explain it. Darling Daughter just got two new videos today, so I’m hoping to scribble away the evening as she vegges out.

Of course, my pathetic attempt to explain away my absence pales to the eloquence of Fafnir (see “The News” and “missing time”).